The 13th annual Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance returns this October 6 through 9. The four-day festival features performances from over 50 bands on their campsite, located in rural Pittsboro – about an hour away from Greensboro. A collaboration between the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center and the GrassRoots Festival Organization, the festival bears the catchphrase “A Music Lover’s Paradise,” and prides themselves for being a diverse celebration for all cultures and ages. The combined effort has built a reputation in North Carolina as a family-friendly celebration. The organization hosts four festivals and two sustainability fairs a year across the east coast. Their mission is to bring communities together through music, art, dance, education, wellness and sustainability.
The featured music of Shakori Hills takes place on four different stages on the festival grounds. Most acts can be categorized as folk, Americana, or jam-band style music, but incorporates music from all different cultures and genres. Headliners this year include Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Donna the Buffalo, AJ Ghent Band, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Solas, Darlingside, Dirty Bourbon River Show and Dr. Bacon. If you’re a musician yourself, the Front Porch Acoustic Stage provides festival attendees a chance to share their original works. Musical workshops for aspiring artists are available at this stage, as well as an open mic night. The winner of the open mic night, determined by popular vote, is offered a set on the bigger Cabaret Tent at the end of the festival. The Shakori Hills Vinyl Lounge Tent will have local DJs spinning between sets on the four main stages.
In addition to music, the festival hosts a collection of local advocacy groups, craft and food vendors and healing arts workshops. Looking for some hand-made blown glass sculptures, or organic soaps? The Indigenous Crafts tent holds all artists and craft vendors. Want a homemade burrito, or a coffee at four in the morning? Shakori Hills has food and beverage vendors available at all hours of the festival. You might also find your way into a yoga or dance class, or catch a massage in the Healing Arts Tent.
This year, the festival emphasizes their family-friendly element with the new “Kid Zone.” Located in the middle of the festival grounds, kids can make art, play games and partake in performances. The “Kid Zone” also offers workshops so children may learn to dance, do yoga and more. “Families are at the heart of our festival,” says festival co-coordinator, Sara Waters. “We’ve had so many kids whose parents brought them here when they were little who are coming as adults now. It’s like they grew up here. And when you grow up somewhere it becomes part of you and is always something special.” The festival also offers a Quiet Camping zone for families, so that later night activities don’t disrupt bedtime.
An easy way to get involved with Shakori Hills is to become a volunteer. Although general volunteer applications have since passed, you can still help out with late night shifts or during the festival breakdown. Those interested are invited to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about volunteering can be found on the Shakori Hills website.
The Shakori Hills Festival is located at 1439 Henderson Tanyard Road in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Tickets can be found at www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org/tickets-info. All information, including band lineups, activities, vendors and directions is available at www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org. If you’re looking for a ride, you can visit the ride share tab on the website for a link to the carpooling on facebook.